Drug Crimes
A Lawyer Who Cares
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Nashville Drug Crime Defense Attorney

Diligent Representation in Davidson County and Throughout Middle Tennessee

The state of Tennessee will in most cases aggressively prosecute drug crimes, and convictions for minor offenses can result in devastating, life-changing consequences. If you are charged with any type of drug offense, you will need capable legal representation that is prepared to fight to protect your freedoms. 

Chelsea Nicholson, Attorney at Law has over 15 years of legal experience and knows the ins and outs of how the state prosecutes drug offenses. Our Nashville drug crime defense lawyer is committed to minimizing the negative consequences associated with these charges and will work to negotiate the best possible outcome in your case. Whether you have been charged with simple possession or drug manufacturing, we have the knowledge and resources to mount a strong defense.

Our firm has a track record of obtaining favorable results in these types of cases. Call (615) 913-3932 or contact us online to discuss your defense options.

Understanding Tennessee’s Drug Schedules

The federal government regulates many types of controlled substances. Tennessee has its own schedules that largely mirror federal classifications.

Tennessee’s drug schedules are as follows:

  • Schedule I includes heroin, peyote, and psychedelics (such as LSD)
  • Schedule II includes opiates, methamphetamines, amphetamines, and cocaine
  • Schedule III includes ketamine, testosterone, and anabolic steroids
  • Schedule IV includes Klonopin (and generic equivalents), Valium (and generic equivalents), Xanax (and generic equivalents), and some other sedatives
  • Schedule V includes medicines with low dosages of cocaine and opium
  • Schedule VI includes marijuana
  • Schedule VII consists only of butyl nitrate 

The classification of the drugs involved will impact the severity of the charges and potential penalties. Generally, offenses involving Schedule I and Schedule II drugs are considered more “serious” and prosecuted more aggressively than cases involving Schedule V, Schedule VI, or Schedule VII drugs. While marijuana is still banned in Tennessee, it is only classified as a Schedule VI drug. (Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug at the federal level.) 

Drug Offenses in Tennessee

There are several types of offenses someone can be potentially charged with in Tennessee. Some are more serious than others, but even minor drug convictions can lead to jail time and hefty fines. 

Our Nashville drug crime defense attorney can assist you with charges involving:

  • Simple Possession. Someone may be charged with simple possession if they have a small quantity of a controlled substance on their person – ostensibly for personal use – but do not have enough to warrant more serious charges. A first offense will generally be charged as a Class A misdemeanor and can result in fines of up to $2,500 and up to one year of jail time. A second offense will be charged as a Class E felony and can lead to fines of up to $3,000 and up to six years of jail time. 
  • Possession with Intent. If someone has a substantial amount of a controlled substance and other paraphernalia that suggests they intend to distribute the drugs, they may face “possession with intent” charges. Possession of small bags, scales, cash, and other tools typically used to facilitate drug sales in addition to the drugs themselves can compel prosecutors to pursue these charges. Keep in mind a sale does not actually have to take place. Prosecutors need only prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an accused party intended to sell the drugs. Possession with intent is a felony offense, and a conviction could result in multiple years of incarceration. The specifics and severity of the consequences will depend on the classification of the controlled substances, the quantity involved, and any prior criminal history
  • Sale of a Controlled Substance. These charges can be pursued when law enforcement witnesses a sale of a controlled substance or participates in the transaction via an undercover officer. The sale of a controlled substance is always a felony in Tennessee, no matter the type or quantity of the drug. Potential consequences for convictions will depend on the classification of the drug, where the sale took place, how much of the drug was sold, and any prior criminal history.
  • Drug Trafficking and Conspiracy. Someone participates in drug “trafficking” if are involved in the production, transportation, distribution, and/or sale of controlled substances. Someone also may be charged with drug “conspiracy” if they agreed to carry out a drug trafficking scheme with one or more other parties. Mandatory-minimum penalties apply to these cases, and convictions will result in unavoidable incarceration, exorbitant fines, and protracted periods of probation. Federal trafficking charges could be pursued if prosecutors believe drug trafficking activity crossed state lines. Other factors, including where drugs were regularly produced and sold as well as what controlled substances were involved, will also influence sentencing. 
  • Drug Manufacturing. Drug manufacturing covers any situation where someone facilitates manufacturing of synthetic controlled substances, such as methamphetamines, or participates in the finishing processes for cultivated or grown products, such as marijuana. In either situation, manufacturing charges have a one-year minimum prison sentence if convicted. Someone can face these charges even if they had no intent to distribute and only planned to use the resulting substances recreationally. Convictions can also lead to exorbitant fines, mandatory community service, probation, and other penalties. 

“I came out completely vindicated and in the clear.”

- Ben (Review from Google)

It is important to note that one does not need to necessarily have drugs on their person to be charged with simple possession or possession with intent. Law enforcement can potentially charge someone if they find controlled substances or paraphernalia in their home or vehicle – even if the materials are not theirs.

Chelsea Nicholson, Attorney at Law knows how to navigate these high-stakes cases. Securing your innocence will require thoroughly analyzing all interactions with law enforcement and the circumstances leading up to your arrest. In some cases, police may violate your constitutional right by searching your home or vehicle without sufficient probable cause. Should this occur, we can object to illegally obtained evidence and limit the prosecution’s ability to argue their case. Numerous other defense and negotiation strategies may be available, and our Nashville drug crime defense lawyer will fight to obtain the favorable outcome you need and deserve.

Do not face drug charges alone. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling (615) 913-3932 or contacting us online.

Chelsea  Nicholson Photo
Chelsea Nicholson Attorney at Law
“"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." - Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

Attorney Chelsea Nicholson has tried over 13 jury trials in her twelve years of practice including drug cases, rape offenses, DUI, kidnapping and robbery offenses. She has shown she is a trial attorney, who is willing to fight hard for her clients and fight for justice.

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